Britain comes to terms with murder of British MP Jo Cox outside library


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17-06-2016 06:05 PM


ABC Canberra 666

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ABC Canberra 666


17-06-2016 06:05 PM



17-06-2016 07:08 PM

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2016-06-17 18:05:56

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Glenday, James


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Britain comes to terms with murder of British MP Jo Cox outside library -

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TONY EASTLEY: Britons are waking this morning, still wondering what was behind the murderous attack on one of the country's most liked and regarded MP's.

Forty-one-year-old Labour parliamentarian, Jo Cox, died after being attacked outside a library where she'd been meeting with constituents.

Her attacker is in custody.

With more on this story, I spoke a short time ago to our correspondent, James Glenday, who's in Leeds where the attack occurred, and asked him what is known about the alleged attacker.

JAMES GLENDAY: Well we know that he is a 52-year-old local of Birstall. Locals say his name is Tommy Mair. He lived not very far away from the crime scene where I'm standing now, which even as we speak, a long time after the attack, it's trussed up in police tape.

There are dozens of police cars, and many police officers still guarding the scene, and some still carrying out inspections and investigations on the pavement nearby.

TONY EASTLEY: James, do we have a motive for this horrible crime?

JAMES GLENDAY: Police say it's still too early to attribute an exact motive to this, but there are suggestions and reports that this man did have links neo-Nazi groups. Some of the witnesses say that, as he was stabbing Ms Cox, as she lay dying on the ground, he shouted "Britain first" which could be a reference to the very divisive EU referendum debate that's going on in this country of course.

Just next Thursday Britain votes on whether or not it should be leaving or remaining in the EU. And, also, it could just simply be a reference to a far-right group in this country, too.

But, there are also reports that this man had fairly severe mental health issues, and many of the locals who have been quoted in a newspaper say he was actually quite a nice man, who largely kept to himself.

TONY EASTLEY: Now, that far-right group that you mentioned, have they had anything to say about an involvement, or any links with this man?

JAMES GLENDAY: They've, they say that they've completely rejected any suggestions that they were in any way to blame for the MP's death. It has, Jo Cox's husband said that he wanted the nation to come together, that Jo would have wanted the nation to come together in the wake of this tragedy, and certainly among the political class, at least, it really has.

Referendum campaigning was suspended, there's been tributes from right across the political spectrum, and it does seem that Jo Cox, although her career in Parliament only ran for a year, it does seem as though she made a lot of friends and was very well regarded and respected.

TONY EASTLEY: And just finally, James, the mood there in Leeds today, what is it like?

JAMES GLENDAY: It's a cold, slightly damp day, very overcast. There's a large number of media here, and a lot of locals are coming down and laying flowers at what's become sort of a makeshift shrine to Ms Cox. It seems to be growing by the hour.

A number of people were shedding tears only a few minutes ago. I think the overwhelming mood is shock, and shock doesn't really describe it because, as one woman said to me, this is not America, this is not a third world country, this is not a place where guns, or gun violence, or stabbing is particularly common, and they just cannot believe that it's happened to their local MP in what is otherwise a quiet and ordinary looking village not far from a major city.

TONY EASTLEY: James Glenday in Leeds, thank you.